Open Letter to Norfolk County Mayor and Council Re Proposed Parking Fees

March 15, 2022

Norfolk County Mayor and Council
50 Colborne Street South
Simcoe, ON N3Y 4H3

Dear Mayor Chopp and Councillors,

We are writing on behalf of our respective Long Point businesses, some of which have individually been operating for almost 100 years in Long Point.

We appreciate Norfolk County’s efforts to find a reasonable solution to the municipality’s parking challenges but with surging inflation hurting businesses and consumers alike, we urge you to amend your parking pilot project to lower parking costs on families.

Specifically, we respectfully request Council to consider reducing the proposed parking fee of $6 per hour to $3 per hour in Long Point. We also request consideration of a maximum daily parking fee to $20 as per staff’s recommendation in their extensive report to Council.

We understand Port Dover Board of Trade’s position with regards to a $6 fee so as to make spaces available to their customers and to encourage turnover of parking spaces along the Main Street. Long Point does not have a central business district like Port Dover does therefore we don’t share those same issues identified by Port Dover Board of Trade.

Furthermore, $6 per hour will create more demand for a much cheaper day pass to enter the provincial park thereby creating increased demand to enter the park resulting in a line-up of vehicles on Erie Boulevard.

The daily rate to enter the park is $12.25. Reducing the hourly rate to $3 per hour will encourage families to use County parking rather than wait in long lines for much cheaper parking.

We also wish to inform Council that the Long Point Country Chamber of Commerce has advised us that they were not formally consulted on the County’s pilot parking project.

In closing, $6 per hour is too expensive for families wishing to spend a day at the beach. With surging inflation driving prices higher for food, gasoline and other items, all levels of government should be looking for ways to help make life more affordable for families, not raising fees just to take a trip to the beach. Naturally we are concerned that visitors who have to pay high parking fees won’t be able to afford to spend money in Long Point and surrounding communities.

While we understand that this is a three month pilot project, those three months are our lifeline following three years of a bridge under construction, high water headaches and COVID-19 lockdowns. After all we’ve been through over the last few years, businesses in Long Point and families need all the help from government we can get. With that in mind, we respectfully request that the pilot be amended to $3 per hour with a daily maximum of $20 in Long Point with increased enforcement and increased fines to be reviewed together at the end of the pilot project.

Yours very truly,

OLD CUT BOAT LIVERY LTD. 
SANDBOY MARINA LTD.
MARINA SHORES LTD.
OLD CUT MARINA LTD.
AT THE BRIDGE
UDDERLEE KOOL
LONG POINT STEAK & FROZEN FOOD COMPANY
THE CHIP SHIP

An Open Letter to the Hon. Lisa MacLeod

Dear Minister MacLeod,

We commend the Premier for taking bold and strong action in the fight against COVID-19. We believe his decisions saved lives as we faced potential exponential growth in COVID-19 and its variants.

Fishing and boating provides an opportunity for individuals and families to be outdoors with benefits to their mental and physical health, without being in close contact with others. Additional benefits to fishing include economic benefits, and is a means of healthy and affordable food.

The Ontario Science Table recently commented that “policies that discourage safe outdoor activity will not control COVID-19”.

The most recent Order in Council has the implication of the closure of boat launches which allow families access to fishing and boating. Section 37, subsection 3 of the Order states “the person who operates the marina shall not permit it to be used for recreational boating purposes”.

We believe that restricting access to families from fishing and boating is an unintended consequence of the closure of marinas.

As Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries will you reconsider this oversight and allow marinas to open their boat launches so that individuals and families can go fishing and boating?

We look forward to hearing from you.

OLD CUT BOAT LIVERY Inc.
Per:  Ray Ferris Jr.

Marinas Must Restrict Access for Recreational Boating

We commend the Premier for taking bold and strong action in the fight against COVID-19. We believe his decisions saved lives as we faced potential exponential growth in COVID-19 and its variants.

Fishing and boating provides an opportunity for individuals and families to be outdoors with benefits to their mental and physical health, without being in close contact with others. Additional benefits to fishing include economic benefits, and is a means of healthy and affordable food.

The most recent Order in Council has the implication of the closure of boat launches which allow families access to fishing and boating. Section 37, subsection 3 of the Order states “the person who operates the marina shall not permit it to be used for recreational boating purposes”.

Will you all the Premier’s office to bring this oversight of access to fishing and boating by way of boat launches from marinas to the attention of the Premier?

CLICK HERE to complete an online form where we will then send you a templated letter for you to copy and send to your MPP.

COVID 19 Marina, Boating, Fishing and Hunting Information

We’ve been inundated with inquiries from boaters and anglers inquiring about how Ontario’s state of emergency impacts our business.  

Marinas are only considered essential “to the extent that the marina is necessary to enable individuals to access their primary place of residence” therefore we are closed.  

This includes our boat launch and boat slips.

We will let you know as soon as we’re able to open serve you. You can sign up at the end of this post to receive email notifications as regulations change.

There is also a lot of misinformation circulating with regards to fishing in Ontario during the state of emergency.  To clear up any confusion, here’s some information we obtained directly from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry:

Can I hunt and fish in Ontario?

✅ At this time fishing and hunting remain open in Ontario. All rules and regulations are in effect. Conservation Officers continue to patrol and protect our natural resources during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

As COVID-19 is an evolving situation, we must all follow the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and act responsibly.

Before you head outside, do the following:

🚫 Check for local restrictions on outdoor areas
↔️ Practice physical distancing – stay 2 metres from other people
❌ Do not gather in groups while fishing, hunting, and hiking

Want to be kept up to date on changes to marina operations, boating, hunting and fishing restrictions? Sign up below to be added to our mailing list for regular updates as things change.